How to Become a

Preschool Administrator

The complete career guide to be a Preschool Administrator: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $52,760
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 6.6%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

Preschool administrators are responsible for overseeing all aspects of a preschool or daycare facility. They hire, manage, and supervise staff, establish educational programs, ensure all guidelines are adhered to, and work with students and parents to ensure a positive learning environment.

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What is a Preschool Administrator?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in preschool administrator roles:

  • Hire, train, and evaluate preschool and daycare staff and educators
  • Develop learning programs that will be executed and work with teachers to form curriculums and lesson plans
  • Work with students and parents to create a positive learning environment and help to resolve behavioral or social issues
  • Manage preschool and facility budgets and determine where to allocate available funds
  • Ensure facility and programs meet federal and state guidelines and regulations when operating a Head Start or other government-funded preschool program

A Day in the Life

The day-to-day responsibilities of a preschool administrator vary depending on the employing institution. Privately owned daycare and preschool facilities may have less stringent requirements than those that receive funding for federal or state programs like Head Start, so preschool administrators working in government-funded facilities have a wider variety of requirements and tasks than those that work in private facilities.

Preschool administrators work with children before they’re old enough to start kindergarten. While many preschool programs are offered as pre-kindergarten classes to students who will enter kindergarten in the following year, some organizations offer preschool education to younger children as well. These programs are often called daycares but execute learning programs rather than just keeping children entertained and safe all day.

Preschool administrators hire teachers and other staff members, help establish program standards, lesson plans, and curriculums, and work to recruit new students into programs. In popular programs with waitlists, administrators may be responsible for choosing which children to bring into programs. Preschool administrators also manage budgets and choose where to allocate funds. They also work directly with students and parents and may teach classes as well as perform administrative work.

Typical Work Schedule

Most preschool administrators work normal business hours, though possibly a little earlier and/or later to allow parents to pick up and drop off children before and after working hours. Preschool administrators may or may not work for the entire time that the daycare facility is operating and may assign staff members or teachers to open and close the facility.

Preschool Administrator Specializations

Some preschool administrators are referred to as preschool directors, though the job responsibilities are essentially the same for both titles. Additionally, some preschool administrators work for facility or daycare owners or groups, while others are small business owners that own and operate their own preschool and/or daycare facilities.

Career Progression

  • Early Career: Childcare Worker
  • Mid-Career: Preschool Techer
  • Late Career: Preschool Administrator

Typical Employers

Daycares, child care providers, local organizations, and local, state, and federal governments all hire preschool administrators to operate and manage facilities and programs. Elementary schools that have preschool programs rarely hire separate preschool administrators, though, because administrative responsibilities fall to the elementary school principal in those institutions.

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How To Become a Preschool Administrator

The requirements for becoming a preschool administrator are varied, and there are several paths to choose from when pursuing this career path. Some individuals start working as childcare workers right out of high school and, over time, can work their way into administrator positions after gaining many years of experience working with children and operating programs. The ability to work as a preschool administrator with only a high school diploma will depend on the organization and state regulations.

Many organizations, programs, and state regulations require that preschool administrators have at least an associate’s degree in early childhood education, and in some cases a bachelor’s degree is preferred. In addition to formal school, many preschool administrators are also required to be certified by a national credentialing agency. These certification programs require potential administrators to take relevant classes, earn experience in the field, and pass a written exam.

Nearly all childcare workers—whether administrators or general staff—must be licensed by their state in order to qualify to work with children. The licensing program is a simple checkpoint to ensure workers can safely work with students: they must pass a background check, prove that they’ve received all required inoculations against infectious diseases, and, in some cases, become certified to perform CPR.

Preschool Administrator Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Preschool Administrator salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Preschool Administrator's can make an average annual salary of $52,760, or $25 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $35,150 or $17 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #358 Nationally for All Careers

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Preschool Administrator. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Preschool Administrators

  • 13.2%   Doctorate
  • 44.8%   Masters
  • 23.5%   Bachelors
  • 5%   Associates
  • 8%   College
  • 4.6%   High School
  • 0.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Preschool Administrator job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 4,200 jobs for a total of 68,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 6.6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #342 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Preschool Administrators

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Child day care services 32,700 2,600 3%
Self-employed workers 6,200 300 0%
Elementary and secondary schools; local 4,300 300 0%

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